So, if you’re going to be concerned about taking a taxi anywhere in Ecuador, be concerned about Guayaquil. Everywhere else is generally safe – just be sure to get in a properly registered taxi. But in Guayaquil, you’ll need a little more caution.
Safety Concerns in Guayaquil Cabs
There are some safety concerns. First of all: don’t hail a cab on the street. Of course, if you know the taxi companies, if you’re Ecuadorian or if you don’t look rich – this may not apply. But if you are reading my blog, then these probably don’t apply to you. If you are a foreigner (who is assumed to be rich) then you might be a target. The simple way to avoid problems is to always call a radio taxi.
Now, we’ve hired cabs simply by hailing them and haven’t had any trouble, but “officially” it isn’t recommended.
The US Consulate in Ecuador recommends:
The American Consulate General in Guayaquil and the U.S. Government assume no responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms listed herein. The names listed are arranged alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance.
- FastLine: (04) 282-3333
- Solservice: (04)287-1195 / (04)287-2837
- Wayose: (04) 212-0234 / (04)212-2569
Is this a real threat? Notice what the US Department of State has to say about it:
Due to the seriousness of the taxi situation in Guayaquil, all personnel working for the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Ecuador have been prohibited from riding in taxis hailed off the street in Guayaquil, even yellow taxis. In addition to yellow taxis, local buses, and other forms of public transportation are also expressly off-limits to U.S. diplomatic personnel in Guayaquil. As an alternative, employees have been told to use their personal vehicles or to call one of the vetted taxi services listed on the U.S. Consulate General’s website.
It is imperative that U.S. citizens understand the risks associated with using taxis in Guayaquil, how best to avoid dangerous situations, and who to contact if one becomes a victim of crime. U.S. citizens are urged not to hail taxis on the street, and to exercise caution when selecting a taxi in all areas of Guayaquil, regardless of location and/or time of day. We strongly encourage U.S. citizens in the Guayaquil area to use only vetted, radio-dispatched taxis, such as those listed on the U.S. Consulate General’s website.
So, while there is a threat, using the above radio taxi companies should virtually eliminate the risk. And as for the rest of the country, there is nothing to worry about – at least no more than you would worry in any other city/country of the world. While vacationing on the coast, (just over an hour from Guayaquil) we regularly took cabs in Salinas. The friends we met there said the problem is localized just to the city of Guayaquil.
Taxi Rates in Guayaquil
- Starting fee: $0.35
- Kilometer: $0.25
- Minimum fee: $1.00
- Minute of waiting: $0.06
- Starting fee: $0.40
- Kilometer: $0.30
- Minimum fee: $1.10
- Minute of waiting: $0.06
Seniors and disabled: 50% Discount